Blindspot (S1E20): “Swift Hearted Stone”

Review:

This week’s Blindspot, “Swift Hearted Stone”, opens on a dark street; a young girl is wandering down, barefoot, bloodied and holding a notebook close to her chest. Before the episode really kicks off, it is safe to say with only a few episodes left until the end of Season 1, the creative team behind this powerhouse are pulling all their punches. Closely following this scene, we cut to a dejected Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) sitting alone with pictures and memorabilia of Sophia – her leaving last week was evidently the nail in the coffin, when Mayfair goes ahead and burns all things representing Sophia. Marianne has been subtle yet powerful throughout this season, portraying the in control nature of her character at work contrastingly with that of the vulnerability in personal life. Elsewhere, Oscar (Francois Arnaud) requested Jane (Jaimie Alexander) meet him at a loft, positioned above a jazz studio; the music sounds familiar to Jane and allows a dialogue between the two we have not yet seen. Opening up to Jane for the first time since they reconnected, Oscar offers up some information regarding their past life. Jane, however, is still cautious in approaching their relationship, she is still not sure she can trust him. In the same breath as this story, Oscar tells Jane of her next assignment; plug the flash drive he gives her into an FBI computer, it’ll copy files that’s all you have to know. Does anyone else still have a sick feeling of distrust when it comes to Oscar? He just seems a little too smooth, a thought Jane shares as we see her waiting outside for Oscar to leave – could Jane be onto him?

As she arrives at headquarters, Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) already there, the two share a little bit of banter about the difficulty Weller may be having not being the best at board games when up against Sawyer. From witty banter, to emotional understanding, Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton do a phenomenal job of exploring and illustrating the complex emotional status of Jane and Weller. His Dad isn’t doing too, but he’s strong, stubborn – sounds like someone Jane may know. This week, Borden (Ukweli Roach) is the first FBI agent involved in the case, as his psychiatric expertise is required to assess the young girl seen earlier in the episode. She’s non-responsive and refusing to talk. With evidence of physical injuries, it is obvious this girl has been through something traumatic. He’s unsuccessful in getting her to speak, but notices her drawings; one of which very closely mirrors one of Jane’s tattoo. And it does. It is the crest of the Ahmadi Family; hailing from Syria as one of the most infamous, and dangerous terrorist organisations in the world. So you could say this case holds a lot of weight. Add to that the discovery that the little girl, Maya (Oona Laurence) who suffers severe autism, is the daughter of their leader.

With the high-level threat associated with this case, the team jump into action to try and breakthrough to Maya. With all other avenues failing, Borden suggests another way that could work in connecting with the little girl. In the next scene, we see Jane sharing the art that is her tattooed body with the young girl. Completely fascinated by the drawings, touching and scoping them out with her hands, Maya seems to calm. Not only that, Jane shares with Maya her own sketch book. This offering allows for a genuine connection to form between the two, and eventually Maya feels comfortable and safe enough that she hands over her sketchbook. It must be added that Oona Laurence is such a phenomenal talent, at such a young age to deliver performance after performance of such visceral nature continually floors me. She’s a powerhouse and the week was no different, even without speaking a single word.

As the team is in possession of the sketchbook, it opens up a whole world of new leads; specifically, to a journalist known as Jeremy Rance. When bought in for questioning he doesn’t give much away, but when confronted with the photo of Maya, he falters. Elsewhere, Maya has drawn another elaborate picture – photographic memories have never looked so beautiful – and leads the team to an apartment building. What they find though is heartbreaking; Maya’s mother sit tortured and dead. With this new information, Weller and Jane take another run at Rance and with the new information (gruesome crime scene photos) he admits to knowing Maya and her mother. He also suggest they use him for bait. Not having to think twice about the plan, Weller poses as Rance when he is jumped by three gun-wielding men. Subduing them, with the help of Jane, they are eventually identified as Ahmadi soldiers.

The team agree that is isn’t safe for Maya in the city, that she needs to be placed somewhere safe and secure while they neutralise the threat to her life. Stating that familiar faces and peaceful surroundings may help foster the connection already built with her, Borden offers his country cabin as a safe haven. With Patterson, Weller and Jane in tow they make their way to the cabin. Upon arrival, they are having difficulty getting Maya to eat – except for Oreos that is – so Jane and Weller make a grocery run to pick up some more traditional ingredients. Bad move guys, no sooner had they left do more soldiers show up at the cabin. Patterson (Ashley Johnson), jumps into action – and I’ve got to say Ashley plays brilliant genius and kick-ass agent so brilliantly, that every time she jumps between the two or the two merge, Patterson becomes stronger and stronger. So much so, she, with the help of a frightened Borden fight off countless soldiers. Not to mention, she blows his house up with everyone inside like she does it for a living. The evolution of Patterson has been a favourite of mine, and Ashley’s work with all the little intricacies make Patterson what she is.

With Borden’s house now in ashes, the team have been successful in keeping Maya safe; or so they think so. As Agent Franklin shows up, angry that what he predicted would happened, happened, insists on transporting the girl himself to a safe house. Luckily for Maya’s photographic memory, because as she is pushed into the car she reveals a drawing of a hand; ring of the finger and a scar. It doesn’t take long for Borden and the team to figure out Franklin was behind it all along. Unfortunately though, Borden is caught in the middle and with a gun to his head, the team is stuck. However, in a brave move, Maya opens the door into Franklin’s back, offering enough movement for Weller to shoot and subdue him.

Back at headquarters, the team discover the Franklin had been responsible for funding the Ahmadi’s and all this was an elaborate plan to take out Maya and cover the information leading back to him. With the case successfully tied up, and Maya reunited with her grandmother, Patterson and Borden share one last flirty exchange before going separate ways. The chemistry between these two is underrated yet so piercing, that it’s inevitable a new ship is on the horizon. Zapata (Audrey Esparza) and Reade (Rob Brown) come to blows again, and as Zapata starts to speak some pretty passionate words about Mayfair, Reade seems to start believing her. Apart from Mayfair, Zapata is the only other person I would never cross. Elsewhere, after successfully carrying out her mission Jane attends game night with Weller and Sawyer but when she receives a text mid-way through she has to leave. We discover it’s an alert of some sort maybe, because she is seen standing outside Oscar’ apartment. Meanwhile, Mayfair has met Alexandra at her hotel room but is suffering from a case of cold feet (quite literally). As she returns from getting ice, she finds a bloodied, stabbed Alexandra lying motionless on the floor. The phone rings, she answers – “Stop looking into Tom Carter’s disappearance or you’re next”. Is anyone else predicting an all-out gun-fight between the FBI Team, helmed by Weller vs. Oscar and his shady soldiers? And with Jane in the middle, playing pretty much both sides, it’s going to be ugly right?

 

Other Key Notes:

  • Tasha and Reade may be teaming up to find answers about Tom Carter
  • Is Oscar trustworthy?
  • And do we ship Patterson and Borden?